Rebekah Brooks, the former News Corp executive and News of the World editor charged with hacking a murdered 13-year-old's cell phone, was found not guilty today. Andy Coulson, Brooks's lover and successor at News of the World, who later became David Cameron's communications director, was found guilty on one count of conspiring to intercept communications.
The twelve jurors in Britain’s phone-hacking trial against several staffers of the shuttered Murdoch tabloid News of the World were told on Thursday that former editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, both charged with several counts of conspiracy to intercept communications and impede a police investigation, had maintained a six-year-long affair over the course of their employment at News International. The relationship apparently lasted between 1998 and 2004, during which both were married to other people.
This morning marked the official start of the long-anticipated U.K. trial of two former News of the World editors (and a few other peripheral individuals) for several criminal charges of conspiring to obstruct justice, hacking a murdered child’s cell phone, and interfering with a police investigation. Predicted to last around six months, the trial will place the News Corporation and its Australian owner, Rupert Murdoch, under even more glaring scrutiny. Here’s what you need to know.
The long-awaited criminal trial of former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, who face conspiracy charges related to hacking the phones of murder victims and celebrities alike, is slated for this September. According to a rumor spreading around News Corp, things could get salacious.
Shoes, dropping, everywhere: British prosecutors announced they're charging eight new and very high profile people with criminal phone hacking in the endless News Corp tabloid phone hacking scandal. The biggest names: former News of the World Editors Rebekah Brooks (a top lieutenant and trusted confidante of Rupert Murdoch) and Andy Coulson (who went on to become the spokesman for British prime minister David Cameron). Five other former NOTW editors and reporters were also charged, along with private eye Glenn Mulcaire, who was heavily involved in the phone hacking.
Colin Myler, who took over at News of the World after alleged phone-hacking mastermind Andy Coulson and presided over its abrupt end (that's him above, giving a final speech to his editors), has been appointed the new editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News—bitter rival of the New York Post, which, like News of the World, is a News Corp holding.
Whoops! Remember when Rupert Murdoch's News of the World was revealed to have illegally listened to the voicemails of teen murder victim Milly Dowler? And how the bastards actually erased the voicemails, leading Dowler's family to falsely believe that their little girl was still alive and checking her messages? And how Murdoch killed off NOTW in shame and a panicked attempt to avert scandal when it all came out? Well, there's a slight wrinkle.
James Murdoch, the News International CEO and News Corp. scion who has been identified by an overwhelming array of documentary and testimonial evidence as having been made abundantly aware that the company he runs engaged in widespread and routine criminal conduct by repeatedly hacking into celebrity's voicemails, told Parliament this morning that he didn't know anything about widespread hacking and all the people who say he did are liars.